Jesus Was Right!
Along His way from the desert region of Perea, between Galilee and Judea, heading towards Jerusalem, in Luke 13:32ff Jesus encounters a group of Pharisees. Luke says they had come to advise Him to leave the region and “go somewhere else” because, “Herod wants to kill you,” they told Him. However, the Savior wasn’t particularly interested in their advice. After all, they were just as likely to be religious patsies on King Herod’s payroll than faithful emissaries of Israel’s God. So, the Savior tells them in Luke 13:32 to “Go tell that fox [Herod], ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’” (NIV)
Then down in 13:34, upon arriving near Jerusalem, Jesus laments the condition of Israel’s capitol city. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” He says, “you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.'” (NIV)
This passage has a parallel version in Matthew 24, where Jesus preached His “other” sermon on the Mount, the Mount of Olives. It was at this time He predicted the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. Within 40 short years of His deadly accurate prophesy, in AD 70, the city and nation of Israel were overrun by the Romans and the temple was destroyed. Josephus reports that over a million Jews were killed in one of the bloodiest wars in human history. Following that massacre, those left then fled as refugees into the outlying areas of Russia, Poland, Hungary, Germany, and Holland. The Jewish people would not return to their homeland for hundreds of years. Despite their exile and living without a homeland for some two thousand years, the Jews never lost their ethnic or national identity and would indeed return one day. Tragically, Jesus was right and were it not for His warning disciples to flee Jerusalem instead of defending the city, even more would have died.